Co-op & Experiential Learning
Combining rigorous academics with a variety of experiential learning opportunities
Northeastern’s approach to education combines rigorous academics with experiential learning anchored by our world-renowned cooperative education program. Experiential learning encompasses our co-op program as well as research, global experiences, service learning, and student organizations.
Co-op affords students the chance to work in engineering practice prior to graduation. Through this program, undergraduate and graduate students gain hands-on, professional experience as well as a chance to build personal connections and contacts within their field of interest. Undergraduate students typically work six months at a time doing two to three co-ops while a student. Graduate students can do an internship or a co-op. Their co-op is either 4-, 6-, or 8-months in length. Co-op opportunities are offered locally, nationally, and globally.
On co-op, students learn requisite skills that cannot be learned in a classroom. The co-op experience enables students to select a career path that is right for them, while giving them a competitive edge upon graduation and earning income. The level of responsibility a student has on co-op grows as their engineering and professional skills develop. With co-op, students may explore different types of companies and work environments, such as being employed at large or small companies, working in design, product development, test, or research.
Student Co-op Experiences
Electrical engineering student Jonah Saunders, E’24, completed a co-op at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, gaining valuable experience and contributing to their ongoing projects in space exploration.
The 10th Annual Departmental Co-op Awards were held on May 8, 2023, to celebrate the exemplary work of a select group of undergraduate and graduate students who have shown great promise and intellectual fortitude throughout their co-op experience. This year’s recipients were: Catherine Eng, Bioengineering, E’23 Co-op: Selux Diagnostics, Charlestown, MA Sage Product Development, Foxborough, […]
Siddharth Simon E’24, computer engineering and computer science, is a pre-med student driven to use computer software and data engineering to make an impact in medicine, improving access to care as well as patient outcomes. This, along with his near-constant involvement in research, helped earn him a 2023 Barry Goldwater Scholarship, one of the nation’s most prestigious merit-based awards for undergraduate students planning to pursue research careers in natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.
Chinemeremma Collins Okara is pursuing an MS in Electrical and Computer engineering degree at Northeastern’s Roux Institute in Portland, Maine, with a goal to become an embedded systems engineer working in the internet of things.
Here is a sampling of co-op employers for electrical and computer engineering students:
|Advanced Micro Devices|
Boston Red Sox
Jacobs Engineering Group
MIT Lincoln Lab
Student Areas of Expertise
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering spans all sub-disciplines of electrical and computer engineering. We encompass robotics (from control systems to embedded systems), the IoT (from networking and communications to computer systems and architectures to security) and Big Data (from machine learning to signal processing to enabling technologies for data centers). We have strength in devices and microelectronics, RF/microwave materials, and power electronics and systems.
- A simple, cost-effective way to meet hiring needs: no fringe benefits, no recruitment costs. Co-op students are paid as temporary hourly employees.
- Support your engineering team with capable engineering students.
Six-month co-op periods allow students to work on long term projects and make significant contributions to the workplace.
- The ability to schedule back-to-back co-op periods for full-time coverage or select six-month periods for busy times.
- Potential pipeline for future full-time hires and industry leaders.
Students offer an enthusiastic, fresh perspective and up-to-date technical knowledge and skills.
“The student is a very intelligent and highly driven individual who took full advantage of the learning opportunities during his time with us. We were very impressed with the results he produced.”
—Dell EMC Corporation
“My co-op student is a very bright young engineer with a great attitude. She was a great asset to my team here at Raytheon in the MET department. She is very mature, can work independently, and is a great team player. I look forward having her work here again as a co-op or possible new hire.”
—Raytheon Integrated Defense System
“Student demonstrated exceptional curiosity and passion for robotics. He resurrected some robots that were just gathering dust and was able to get them fully functional and performed some experiments with them. He was outstanding! He worked on many projects and his contributions will benefit the department after he’s gone.”
“Co-op student is a very fast learner who efficiently carries out her job functions. She had the desire to learn the other aspects to the Safety Groups functions and was able to assist the engineers and technicians with general safety testing.”
Making Notable Advancements in Neuro-Engineering
Electrical & Computer Engineering student Spencer Lake Jacobs-Skolik shares his experience leading research, becoming a published author, and earning a Goldwater Scholarship – all as an undergraduate. Learn how Northeastern University’s College of Engineering provides research opportunities you can’t find anywhere else, and how those experiences prepare passionate students for successful careers.
Getting a Competitive Edge on Co-op
Noah Lichtenstein, BS, computer engineering and computer science, says the integrated way of learning and experience with co-op will allow him to jump in to a job when he graduates. So far he’s had a co-op at Starry, an internet startup, and Amazon Robotics as a firmware engineer, and feels this experience will give him a decent leg up.
Three Co-ops, Three Different Experiences
Sofia Vanessa Benitez Quevedo, BS, electrical engineering, completed three co-ops near and far including iRobot as a systems engineer, Flex in California working on emerging tech on the internet of things, and Starry, a start up in Boston using cutting-edge technology for the next generation.
As an R1 research university, Northeastern offers all students—undergraduate, masters, and PhD—opportunities to participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects, and offers resources and support to encourage innovation. Students can work with faculty in their labs, as part of research centers, on co-op, or conduct individual research. Students can also present their research at university events, professional society and association conferences, and participate in regional, national and global competitions.
View engineering faculty profiles for research focus areas and lab information.
Student Clubs and Global Experiences
The Northeastern University Wireless Club is an electronics experimentation club, where students from all disciplines can meet to work on projects and learn electronics through hands-on application. Students can also participate in service learning such as teaching robotics to middle school children in the Boston community.
Students traveled to Chile for a Dialogue of Civilizations course over the summer led by ECE Professor Chuck DiMarzio where they learned about biomedical imaging as well as financial, political, cultural, and social issues in another country.
Several engineering students and science students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of Northeastern’s Fall 2023 PEAK Experiences Awards. Projects this fall are tackling a range of topics and modes with students developing an autobiographical zine, studying the development of amphibian limbs, building better rocket parts, and more. BASE CAMP AWARDS Farhad Ibrahimzade COE’26 & […]
A team of researchers from Northeastern University, MIT, and EURECOM won the best paper award at the 21st International Symposium on Modeling and Optimization in Mobile, Ad-hoc, and Wireless Networks (WiOpt 2023) for their paper on “Joint Optimization of Storage and Transmission via Coding Traffic Flows for Content Distribution.”
Electrical and computer engineering student Yuanyuan Li, PhD’23, supervised by Professor Stratis Ioannidis, won 2nd place at the student research competition for her work on “Distributed Experimental Design Networks” at the ACM SIGMETRICS 2023 conferences.
Computer engineering graduate students Ruyi Ding, PhD’24, Cheng Gongye, PhD’23, Siyue Wang, PhD’22, Mathematics Professor A. Adam Ding, and ECE Professor Yunsi Fei were awarded a Distinguished Papers Award at the 18th ACM ASIA Conference on Computer and Communications Security for their paper on “EMShepherd: Detecting Adversarial Samples via Side-channel Leakage.”